Council rates to go up… and down

COUNCILLORS will be asked to approve a 3.95% rates rise when the Derwent Valley Council budget is considered at a special meeting this week, along with a COVID-19 rebate intended to result in a nil-increase for ratepayers.

Other fees and charges look set for small increases, including price rises at the New Norfolk Caravan Park, burial fees, child care, environmental health services, hall hire, planning and plumbing fees, and tip-site entry fees . The cost of entry to the New Norfolk and Bushy Park swimming pools will rise 10c for adults. Some services, such as photocopying, will see minor price reductions.

In a statement, the council said it had started the 2020/21 financial year bearing the weight of a considerable COVID-19 financial burden while remaining focused on maintaining essential community services and commitments. The budget meeting tomorrow (Thursday) evening remains closed to the public under the council’s COVID-19 health precautions.

“Council’s 2020/21 Annual Plan and Budget has been prepared in difficult circumstances due to the impacts of the coronavirus being felt on the council and the broader community,” a spokesman said. “The forecast Budget for the coming year includes a COVID-19 Rate Relief Rebate to offset the recommended increase in general rates and a 0% increase to the waste management service charge for 2020/21. The budget will be reviewed towards the end of the year with a view to making amendments once the full impact of COVID-19 becomes clearer.”

The agenda documents for the special council meeting can be found on the council website.

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